Date published: March 2013
Genre: Erotic contemporary shifter; M/M
Book format: E-book
Obtained via: Publisher Gift
Reviewed by Keldon__
When skunk shifter Aldis Murray arrives in Florida for his cousin’s mating party, the last thing he expected was meeting a handsome and mesmerizing rhino shifter in the form of Gawain Templeton. Skunk shifters are gifted with scent glands (!) that secrete a substance allowing sex to go on for hours. Gawain has always wanted this experience, and is immediately taken with Aldis, takes Aldis to his room, and then…takes Aldis. Although happy to go along with Gawain’s proposition for sex minutes after meeting, Aldis hopes to find someone that wants him, not just the experience of sex with a skunk shifter.
Thereafter ensues a series of misunderstandings and arguments, which forms the bulk of the conflict. Aldis tries to protect a cousin (whom we never meet) from an unwanted mating; in the midst of a phone call between Aldis and the enforcing organization, Gawain decides that the best way to show Aldis that he cares is to enter into a four-year mating agreement. As Gawain’s gallant offer comes on the cusp of a huge disagreement with Aldis, it seems improbable Aldis would accept, regardless of the unseen cousin’s conflict.
Gawain has some baggage from centuries ago. This plays out when David, Aldis’s ex-boyfriend from Scotland, happens to be in the United States, in Florida, and in Orlando on the very night Aldis and his crew are there. This meeting felt very contrived. The subsequent showdown between Gawain and his centuries-old nemesis David plays out in front of Aldis at a gay club set in Disney World, with the intention of making Aldis see himself as valuable. The accompanying public sex struck me as out of character for Aldis. The club struck me as out of character for Disney World.
The only shifting in the book is a couple of sentences where the stirred up Gawain shifts and trots around on the patio to blow off steam. None of the various other shifters live up to their genre, remaining human throughout.
Overall, the story felt forced, with improbable events happening left and right to drive the plot. The book is written in a first person point of view, with Gawain and Aldis alternating chapters. At times, I lost track of whose head I was supposed to be in. In addition, a rhino mating with a skunk didn’t fit well for me as far as shifter pairings go. I don’t plan to check out the additional offerings that are likely to accrue from the secondary characters.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.